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Environment-enhancing wetland boosts both local community and environment 

The creation of an environment-enhancing wetland reserve in East Ayrshire has demonstrated how a project canboost both the local community and tackle the climate emergency.

Dalrymple, Skeldon and Hollybush Steering Group (formerly the Dalrymple Community Landscape Project)  transformed fields on the edge of Dalrymple into a mosaic of wetland woodland, meadow and ponds, enhancing biodiversity and creating a recreational and educational asset for the local community.

The project stemmed from public meetings held by the group, where proposals were put forward to construct a community garden with social gathering spaces and children’s play areas in the fields opposite the shops and  an extensive wild-life habitat for the low-lying ground, whilst making an attractive environment for walking and cycling.

The project was recognised at the 2023 Scotland Loves Local Awards, winning the ‘Climate and Net Zero’ award, sponsored by Business Stream and Green Action Trust. The event was hosted by STV Presenter Sean Batty.

The nomination for the project outlined how the activity had contributed to addressing climate change impacts, land use and the biodiversity crisis:

“This project has had a truly transformative effect. It has created an attractive place for leisure and recreation which meets the needs of users, supporting biodiversity and accessibility. It has helped to restore civic pride in this community which has always had a strong sense of identity.

“In empowering local community groups, it has given them a stake in the decision-making process and as a result, many new volunteers have come forward to work on this and future projects.”

Find out more about the project here.